Gubatbp. (pronounced as “gubat at iba pa” or “forest and others”) is a monthly podcast by the Forest Foundation Philippines. Here, we tell stories and engage in discussions about the interrelatedness of people, forest, and biodiversity.
Onggie Canivel is the Executive Director of Forest Foundation Philippines. A staunch advocate of the environment, he previously held positions, leading advocacy and policy initiatives, at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines, Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
He obtained his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.
Passionate about the great outdoors, he spends his free time reading books on the environment, and sharing his love of the forests to friends and family by taking them to the country’s most beautiful landscapes. Also a serial hobbyist, he collects fountain pens and takes fishkeeping seriously.
Knowledge Management Specialist
Bryan Mariano is Forest Foundation Philippines’ Knowledge Management Specialist. He is a development communication practitioner who has been working in the forest conservation sector since 2015. He is currently finishing his MS Geography program at the University of the Philippines Diliman where he studies social meanings of places and knowledge production in human-nature relations. With great admiration for landscapes, he enjoys hiking and reading books about the environment.
Alvira Reyes is the Executive Director of Bote Central and Acting President of Philippine Coffee Alliance. The Philippine Coffee Alliance is a SEC-registered network of smallholder coffee farmers and key players in local agribusiness. They aim for promoting and empowering local coffee farmers by preparing them for entrepreneurship. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 3.
Simeona “Ony” Martinez is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is part of independent research and advocacy group Counter-mapping PH Network. Ony Martinez has also joined Saan Yan PH, a volunteer group mapping community pantries in the country. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 5.
Dr. John Jamir Benzon Aruta or John is a professor from the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department of De La Salle University. His research interests include environmental psychology and mental health. One of his recent papers discussed the influence of connectedness to nature and materialism on ecological behavior in the Philippines. For more published works of Dr. John Jamir Benzon R. Aruta, please visit his Research Gate profile. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 7.
Beatrice Tulagan, or Bea, is a writer and a climate organizer. As a journalist, Bea writes about the climate crisis, cultural shifts, and social politics, as well as the environment, culture, gender, and mental health. As a climate organizer, she is particularly focused on the emerging youth climate movement in the global South as well as women environmental defenders. Her weekly newsletter, The Very Best of Us is a reflection on honoring what makes us human as we confront the biggest crises and social shocks of our time. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 7.
Dr. Fernando is the UPLB Museum of Natural History’s (MNH) curator for Palms and other Forest Plants. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the Department of Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños. He is also a forest botanist and plant taxonomist, specializing in Biodiversity and Protected Areas, Biodiversity Conservation Policy and Planning, and Conservation Biology and Plant Genetic Resources.
He has conducted extensive fieldwork and taxonomic research on Philippine plants and has authored and co-authored over a hundred technical papers and books on the fields of plant biodiversity and plant taxonomy. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 8.
Schenley Anne Belmonte is the Communications Officer of Forest Foundation Philippines. She leads the Foundation’s institutional communication programs and provides support to the management of its advocacy grant portfolio. She has significant experience in working with nonprofits, civil society organizations, government agencies, and youth groups in crafting and implementing advocacy programs for various causes. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and is currently completing her master’s degree in Community Development from the University of the Philippines Diliman. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 8.
Mabi David is a certified vegan cook with training in whole foods, plant-based cooking, and an interest in health-supportive recipe development. She has extensive exposure to sustainability practices and finds inspiration in creating recipes that promote health, minimal waste, sustainable food systems, social justice, and animal rights. Mabi works in relocalizing food systems and advocates for agroecology and food sovereignty. She also teaches fermentation and miso making.
Mabi has been working closely with local farmers to help them distribute their organic produce to nationwide customers through Good Food Community. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 9.
For 14 years, Kuya Ruben Gianan has worked with Masungi Georeserve as a park ranger and forest guard. He co-created the Discovery Trail and discovered its notable limestone cave, which is now affectionately referred to as “Yungib ni Ruben” or Ruben’s Cave. In addition to his duties as a ranger, Kuya Ruben is an expert at maintenance work and is knowledgeable about the biodiverse flora and fauna in Masungi. Additionally, Kuya Ruben mentors a number of new rangers as team leader. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 10.
Arnold Arre is a Filipino comic book artist and writer. The Mythology Class, which combined contemporary urban legends with ancient Philippine mythology in a “genre-breaking” style, was the first graphic novel to win the Comic Books category of the Manila Critics Circle National Book Awards. Similarly, Trip to Tagaytay (2000), a one-shot future fiction short story, won the Manila Critics Circle National Book Award. Both were published by his own company Tala Comics Publishing.
His other works include the romantic comedy After Eden (2016 edition by Nautilus Comics; 2002 edition by Adarna House), the self-published Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat (2006), the Martial Law Babies (2008), and the 2015 release Halina Filipina, all of which were published by Nautilus Comics. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 12.